Planning committee approves new high-rise guidelines

Ottawa's planning committee has approved bolstering the number of officials responsible for making sure Ottawa's new buildings are up to snuff. Christopher Whan / Global News

The City of Ottawa planning committee approved Tuesday a set of new urban guidelines for high-rise buildings in the city.

According to the city, the guidelines replace an earlier set and reflect local, national and international best practices.

These new guidelines were developed to improve high-rise design for new developments across the city. The guidelines do not say where the high rises will be permitted but, according to the city, they seek to “improve compatibility, livability and public spaces.”

The guidelines have been separated into three categories:

  • Context, which covers views, landmark buildings, transition in scale, lot conditions for infill development, and heritage.
  • Built form, which guides design and exterior illumination.
  • Pedestrian realm, which aims to provide public spaces, connectivity and a safe and appealing pedestrian realm.

The plan also states that small-scale manufacturing and food processingĀ could soon be permitted in commercial areas. These uses are currently restricted to industrial zones because they are lumped in with heavy industrial uses that generate noise, pollution and freight traffic. The zoning changes would permit businesses like micro-breweries and craft furniture makers to operate in other urban areas. These businesses would be able to sell their products on-site while also distributing their products for resale.

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The Committee also approved a zoning amendment for live music and performance venues. This would allow live music and theatre to be used in any place of worship or assembly across the city, as well as permitted uses in commercial stores and restaurants.

Every amendment approved at Tuesday’s meeting will go to council May 23.

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